Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voting Machines We Can Trust

A lot of money was spent on voting machines here in Indiana in the past few years. If only we got the right machines.

Indiana’s voting machines are not capable of producing an auditable, voter verifiable paper audit trail. (VVPAT) They should be.

Grocery stores and other retailers allow you to see what you are buying, on the screen and on paper. Why can’t we do this with our votes?

Indiana’s voting machines are dependent upon software to count the votes. Many researchers are skeptical of the integrity of the machines, that they can be hacked into or pre-programmed to arrive at certain outcomes. Without a voter verifiable system and a paper trail, voters can always be skeptical about the accuracy and integrity of the tally.

More info: wheresthepaper.org


This term refers to the drawing of political districts for the purpose of ensuring certain outcomes in elections.

Gerrymandering ensures two things for citizens, both of them bad. It ensures low voter turnout, because the elections are rightly seen as a foregone conclusion. It ensures having elected officials who aren’t accountable to the voters. Without worries of a ballot box challenge, they tend not to listen to their constituents after a while.

This is an obvious problem, but neither Republicans nor Democrats want to change the system, because each party currently collects a share of fairly certain wins, fighting over just a handful of contested seats.

Here’s this year’s proof: 44 of 100 Indiana House seats will be uncontested this year. 9 of 25 Indiana Senate seats will also be uncontested.

In 2004, only 1 of the 25 Indiana Senate seats was any kind of contest, and even that wasn’t close. It was a 9-point margin.

Anyone interested in the integrity of our representative government should be calling for an end to gerrymandering. As Secretary of State, the State’s chief elections official, Mike will be the biggest cheerleader for this change.

It was great that a bill, HB 1009 was introduced in the 2006 short session to end gerrymandering, but most disappointing that it wasn’t deemed worthy of moving forward for a vote.

Districts should be redrawn to be more geographic in orientation. Mike Kole backs an end to gerrymandering, and urges passage of the bill, HB 1009.

Promoting Voter Turnout

As Secretary of State, Mike will make it a high priority to urge all Hoosiers to vote in our elections.

The turnout for the 2006 Primaries was embarrassing, with a mere 23% of voters casting ballots statewide.

As the top elections official, the Secretary of State should actively urge Hoosiers to vote.

The current Secretary of State spent $1.2 million in ads promoting voter ID, but spent nothing urging Hoosiers to vote. That’s a case of misplaced priorities. Let's make sure Hoosiers are getting to the polls, then we can worry about checking the ID.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The BMV and Secretary of State

An Indiana legislator recently proposed the idea of placing the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) under the authority of the Secretary of State's office. The idea has some merit. The BMV was under the Secretary of State until 1953.

The BMV's performance has left many Hoosiers dissatisfied and irritated. The BMV is currently under the authority of the Governor. Some will argue that those dissatisfied with BMV performance can show their displeasure by casting a vote for someone other than the incumbent.

That's true, but it is a stronger argument that because the Governor oversees so much, because BMV performance is just one small aspect of a very large job, the Governor is really very unlikely to be held accountable for BMV performance.

Secretary of State is accountable for just three items to-date: elections, busines services, and securities. Adding a fourth area of oversight should not overwhelm a competent manager. Returning the BMV to the Secretary of State would make that office more visible, which is a good thing. Citizens should be more aware of what the Secretary of State manages.

Most importantly, returning the BMV to Secretary of State oversight would result in a greater opportunity for accountability for its performance. This makes it worth doing.

Hoosiers deserve government that is accountable. Elect me, Mike Kole, as Indiana Secretary of State. I will be accountable.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What is a Libertarian?

A Libertarian believes in smaller government, lower taxes, and greater personal freedom.

As with any other political philosophy, there are degrees of belief. There are radical Libertarians, and there are moderate Libertarians.

Mike Kole is a moderate Libertarian. Mike understands that it took more than 200 years to take the essentially Libertarian American government given to us by the Founding Fathers for it to become the bloated, expensive, unresponsive form it has evolved into.

Rolling it back may take a while, as Americans come to rely on themselves once again instead of government. Americans are not ready for wholesale change, so Mike advocates reasonable changes, such as a 1% cut in budgets. That’s not a radical slash. It is something that can and should be achieved easily. Do Republicans have the will?

Republicans and Democrats have been making government bigger and more expensive. If you believe that government should be smaller and less expensive, you are a Libertarian.

The “Wasted Vote Syndrome”

Libertarians stand for lower taxes, smaller budgets, and less intrusive government in most areas of life.

If it seems that the other parties talk about these things, they do. They talk. But actions matter. Republicans and Democrats act to create higher taxes, larger budgets, and bring ever more intrusive government into every area of life.

If you are dissatisfied with government, just remember that it is the creation of Republicans and Democrats, and their ideas- higher taxes and spending; government that intrudes into your personal life; government that doesn’t respect your right to your property.

Voting Republican & Democrat resulted in the mess we have today. Voting Republican or Democrat will only make things worse. You can’t change things by doing the same thing over and over.

People sometimes tell me they would like to vote Libertarian, but they are afraid of wasting their vote. There are a lot of wasted votes every year.

Any time someone wanted lower taxes and less spending, and voted Republican, they wasted their vote.

Any time someone wanted less intrusive government and wider civil liberties, and voted Democrat, they wasted their vote.

There is a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both Indiana House & Senate, and yet your taxes have not gone down, and the spending remains out of control under their watch. It isn’t because the Republicans can’t cut taxes and spending. It is because they aren’t willing to do the job. Libertarians will do the job!

Vote Libertarian! Support Mike Kole’s campaign for Secretary of State. Elect Mike and other Libertarians, and you will be pleased with the results.